Worcester Student Wins Prestigious Midwifery Award

A University of Worcester student has been named Student Midwife of the Year in the 2024 Student Nursing Times Awards.

Ash Bainbridge won the award for demonstrating outstanding work in improving inclusivity and making maternity a safer space for those from the LGBTQ+ community.

The judges said: “Ash demonstrates such grace and passion for midwifery and making the service better for all. Ash is striving for justice and equity within the maternity space, and stressing that focusing on intersectionality is imperative for improving maternity services and the wider NHS.”

“I’m very grateful to have been awarded Student Midwife of the Year and still can’t quite believe it!” Ash said. “My aim is to improve perinatal care for LGBTQ+ people building families via pregnancy while championing the students and midwives who serve them. I’m proud that the impact of my work in policy, education, and academia has been recognised at a national level, particularly in the current political climate.

“This work would not have been possible without support I’ve received from key student midwives and staff at the University of Worcester. I’d especially like to thank midwifery course representatives Pip Jason-Ryan and Frankie Chapman, course lead RM Bunty Lai-Boyd, and my Personal Academic Tutor Dr Tina Dennis for encouraging me to bring my whole self to midwifery training.”

Ash’s work has been published academically and they have delivered gender inclusion training to healthcare students and professionals across the UK, ensuring trans and non-binary perspectives are included at policy level. Ash served as Gender Inclusion Advisor for safer pregnancy charity MAMA Academy and Trustee for White Ribbon Alliance UK.

It is the second time that Ash had been shortlisted in the Student Nursing Times Awards, having been shortlisted for the Mary Seacole Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion in 2022.

Ash was inspired into a change of career after their own experiences of having children.

The parent-of-two said: “They were each born in different parts of the country, and I received different care welcoming them to the world: from the checks that were offered during my antenatal appointments to the postnatal support I received for infant feeding, plus how safe I felt when sharing that I’m a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I experienced the difference a midwife makes who listens, educates, and facilitates informed choice during such a short, yet transformational period in someone’s life.”

For information on courses at University of Worcester visit www.worcester.ac.uk or for application enquiries telephone 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk